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09/11/06 9:56 PM ET
Notes: Rotation gets Gonzalez swap
D-Backs call on Edgar to replace struggling Enrique
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
PHOENIX -- Enrique Gonzalez is out, and Edgar Gonzalez is in. The Diamondbacks decided to take Enrique Gonzalez out of the rotation after watching the rookie struggle mightily over the past month and a half. His last win was on July 28, eight starts ago, and in his last five starts, he has an 8.20 ERA. "He's been struggling, and we've seen him continue to struggle," D-Backs manager Bob Melvin said. "We don't want a young kid to mentally go through this any longer." Enrique Gonzalez will be available to pitch out of the bullpen the rest of the season. In his start on Sunday, he pitched well through three innings but then allowed two runs each in the fourth and fifth. "A little spotty again, just not really throwing the ball where he wanted to," Melvin said. "Having a little trouble right now stopping rallies. He'll have a good inning, then a couple of guys will get on, and he'll have trouble getting that third out and then just keeping it to one run or whatever. It's a work in progress for him." Enrique Gonzalez is one of the D-Backs' top pitching prospects and his recent performance notwithstanding, he still is very much in the club's future plans. "We think he's going to be a fixture here," Melvin said. "We saw early on that the guy has great stuff. Just got into a little bit of a mode where we felt like we'd give him a little bit of a break from the rotation." As for Edgar: Edgar Gonzalez's next start will come on Sept. 20 and if the D-Backs stay in rotation the rest of the year, that should allow him to also start on Sept. 25 and 30. "It's good we get more of an extended look at a guy that is coming up here and has warranted some starts," Melvin said. Edgar Gonzalez pitched well in a start last week in Florida, allowing just two runs on five hits over six innings. He had the unfortunate luck to be on the other side of Anibal Sanchez's no-hitter. Four more for Webb: The way it looks right now, Brandon Webb will get four more starts this year to bolster his NL Cy Young Award chances. The right-hander pitched on six days' rest before tossing a one-hitter on Saturday and will also have an extra day of rest before his start on Friday against the Rockies. "We still have an eye on that Webb had a little bit of a setback, as far as elbow-wise," Melvin said referring to the fact that Webb missed a start at the beginning of August with stiffness in his elbow. "He's gotten to pitch on the sixth day the last couple times. We'll monitor where we think he's at. If we can give him an extra day because of that, then we will." If the D-Backs stay in rotation the rest of the way, that would give Webb four more starts, including the season's final game. Speaking of Webb: It will be interesting to see who catches for Webb down the stretch. Melvin all but ruled out rookie Miguel Montero doing so but said that both Chris Snyder and Johnny Estrada were both "very capable" of doing it. Snyder caught Webb's one-hitter on Saturday, and he and Estrada tend to call different games with Webb on the mound. Estrada has Webb mix in more of his offspeed stuff early in a game, while Snyder prefers Webb to go with his sinker almost exclusively. On Sunday for instance, of the 96 pitches Webb threw, all but six were fastballs. Up next: The D-Backs continue their series with the Nationals on Tuesday night with Miguel Batista (10-6, 4.44 ERA) taking the mound against Jason Bergmann (0-1, 6.66) at 6:40 MST at Chase Field.
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.